Rachel turned three in April. I know, what happened to my baby? For her birthday party, I made a unicorn cake. But her actual birthday was about a week before the party, and I felt like I needed to make something for her special day. When I asked her what she wanted, she told me “pink cake”. She loves strawberries. No, she adores strawberries! And I had a lemon in the fridge. So I decided to make Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. I combined three of my favorite recipes to come up with these, and they were an epic success! Everyone loved them, not just the birthday girl.
The cupcakes themselves are nice and moist, with a hint of lemon flavor. They aren’t a vibrant pink color, but you could add a few drops of red food coloring if you like. The glaze on top might seem a little strange, but it adds another level of flavor to the cupcakes. Helps keep them moist as well. Then there’s the frosting. The heavenly, I could eat it by the spoonful frosting. I love all variations of cream cheese frosting, but this one is up there at the top of my list. It’s a beautiful color, and the strawberry and lemon are a perfect flavor combination. It is so good people!! I hope you’ll give these cupcakes a try. They are perfect for three year old birthday girls. Oh, and everyone else too!
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1 3-oz box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
4-ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
pinch of salt
1-2 tsp lemon zest
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp strawberry jam
Combine all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes, or till smooth. Pour batter into muffin cups filled with paper liners. Fill just over half way full. (I ended up with 26 cupcakes.) Bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till smooth. Brush glaze evenly over warm cupcakes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely, then frost. Garnish with fresh strawberries if desired. For frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add salt, lemon zest, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Beat in the strawberry jam, and add more powdered sugar to get the consistency you need. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
-Makes 24-26 cupcakes
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